The Best Shampoos for Eczema
Eczema is a common skin condition, and no doubt you have heard of it before. Another name for it is dermatitis. It can occur anywhere on the skin. However, the symptoms are typically localized to one specific area, such as your arms, legs, or back. But in severe cases, it can spread over a large proportion of your skin and affect several areas at the same time.
Symptoms of eczema include:
- Itchiness (also called pruritus)
- Dry skin
- Cracking skin
- Flaky skin
- Inflammation (swelling)
- A rash around swollen areas on the skin
- Pain or soreness in affected areas
- Rough or thickening skin
- Fluid that seeps from the affected areas
For many, the most irritating aspect of eczema is the persistent itchy, dry feeling that doesn’t go away. Or, just as equally annoying, is when it finally clears up, only to come back again at the worst time possible. Additionally, it can also appear in annoying places such as the scalp.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, eczema can develop on your scalp (the skin covering your head, under your hair). That’s right, some of us experience scalp eczema, and we could easily argue that this is one the worst places for eczema to occur. After all, the sensation of hair always brushing over it can make it feel worse. And, for those with short hair, it can be harder to conceal signs of eczema in this area.
The good news is that it’s possible to prevent scalp eczema from returning once you have gotten it under control. But if you can’t prevent it entirely, you might be able to reduce the severity of the symptoms or frequency instead. Thankfully, the process is pretty straightforward, and one simple thing to try is switching your shampoo.
Changing Your Shampoo
Switching shampoos may help because it could just be that your scalp is sensitive to a particular detergent or fragrance that is added to your shampoo. Detergents and fragrances are added to shampoo to make your hair clean and smell nice. Luckily, these ingredients vary in type among different shampoos. So, if you are reacting to one kind, you might find that you can tolerate another shampoo more easily.
If you switch to a shampoo free from irritants, this could help you immensely. These are typically shampoos that are dermatologically tested or contain natural ingredients. So here, we will discuss the best shampoos for eczema and provide you with an overview of where to start.
1. Blu Atlas Shampoo
As mentioned, finding a shampoo that does not irritate your scalp is imperative. After all, it makes sense, considering you use your shampoo daily. The more you use an irritating shampoo, the worse your eczema will get. That’s why you need Blu Atlas’s shampoo. It’s the perfect shampoo for everyday use since it’s gentle on sensitive scalps or skin types.
Blu atlas is a miracle for scalp eczema because it contains three key ingredients:
- Jojoba oil
- Aloe vera
- Saw palmetto
Jojoba oil is essential because it will restore nutrients to your damaged scalp. When your scalp is affected by eczema, it will need some time to repair and regenerate healthy skin cells. So what’s great about this natural ingredient is that it’s packed with plenty of vitamins A, E, and D. Therefore, it will help by speeding up and supporting the recovery process.
Aloe vera is another great natural ingredient in Blu Atlas’s shampoo that also contains vitamins A and E, plus C. It too will help with the recovery process, but it’s also known to be an excellent hydrator for the skin, especially the scalp. So it will restore the moisture content of your skin to prevent it from becoming dry and flaky again (fighting two common symptoms associated with scalp eczema).
Lastly, saw palmetto also hydrates the scalp, but it has additional anti-inflammatory properties. To fight eczema, you need to target inflammation, which is the swelling that occurs when your skin becomes sensitive to particular detergents and fragrances. Therefore, this ingredient has a soothing effect on the scalp and will lessen irritation.
So overall, you cannot go wrong with Blu Atlas’s shampoo. It’s a gentle cleanser that is packed with fine, natural ingredients. These natural ingredients do more than just a gentle wash – they are also packed with vitamins and hydrating factors that can also fight inflammation. Therefore, this shampoo sits at number one, and we recommend trying it first, as it’s most likely to help resolve scalp eczema.
2. SEEN Skin-Caring Shampoo
SEEN shampoo is fragrance-free. Using a fragrance-free shampoo is a great way to determine if aromatic ingredients irritate your scalp. So if your eczema happens to subside after using this shampoo, it is a good indication that you are better off without fragrance.
However, while this elimination process helps you pinpoint the cause of your eczema, your hair will have no fragrance after every wash. For some, this is no issue. Just as long as the hair is clean, that is all that matters.
But if you like your hair to smell nice, you could still start with this shampoo and then slowly introduce another after a few weeks. For example, you could introduce a sensitive shampoo with a natural or less irritating fragrance.
Although if you are someone who simply cannot tolerate any fragrance, then it will not matter if your shampoo has no smell. After all, the benefit of using a fragrant-free shampoo would outweigh having no added perfume.
This shampoo is also reassuring in the aspect that it is dermatologically tested. Because of this, the developers of SEEN’s shampoo have formulated it based on people who typically have sensitive scalps. Having scalp sensitivity means you are more prone to developing eczema. So it certainly helps to opt for a dermatologically tested shampoo such as SEEN’s. Hence, it is one of the best shampoos for eczema.
3. Aveeno Fresh Green Blend Shampoo
Aveeno’s fresh greens blend shampoo is a sulfate-free shampoo. Another key feature of this product is that it is scented with rosemary and peppermint. But it also has a refreshing hint of cucumber. The cucumber not only adds to the fragrance but also helps to hydrate your scalp. Remember that hydration is another important factor that helps with combating scalp eczema.
However, first, let’s discuss sulfate and why sulfate-free shampoos are crucial for eczema sufferers. Sulfates are substances typically added to shampoos to help clean your hair because they are good at removing oil and dirt. Two common sulfates in shampoos are sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. Sometimes, you must read the small print to determine whether a shampoo contains these sulfates as they are often hidden in a long list of ingredients.
Sulfates do not affect everybody, and some people can tolerate them more than others. But those who are particularly sensitive to them may develop eczema. Or you may find that sulfates remove too much natural oil from your scalp, drying it out. This could also be another contributing factor to your eczema. So again, it’s that process of elimination to determine which type of ingredients in your shampoo are linked to eczema.
While Aveeno has removed compounds potentially harmful to your scalp, they have also added others to help restore the skin. As mentioned earlier, cucumber is an excellent hydrator for the scalp. Since dryness can often lead to itchiness, two common symptoms associated with scalp eczema, this shampoo could help reduce these problems. Therefore, this shampoo offers a lot and is a good starting place if you are trying to determine if sulfates are a culprit for your scalp.
4. Honest 2 in 1 Body Wash and Shampoo
If eczema goes beyond your scalp, try this 2 in 1 shampoo and body wash by Honest. After all, it makes sense to keep things consistent in your routine. There is no point in messing around with several different products until you find the right match with everything. And why not target more than one area of eczema with one product? If it works, it will definitely save you time because you won’t need to try a range of products.
Honest has cut back on many potential irritants – compounds often associated with sensitivity issues like eczema. These include phthalates, parabens, dyes, synthetic fragrances, and formaldehyde donors. Some of these words may sound long and confusing, but the general idea is that everyone does not tolerate some of these ingredients that well. Therefore, it might be good to cut back on a good amount since there are too many to sort through.
Honest has also formulated this product to ensure that it is gentle for babies. Young children and babies are often susceptible to eczema. So if it can work for babies, it will most likely work for you too. But if eczema is a common issue among your family or household, you may also find this product useful because it is one that everyone can use. So again, it will undoubtedly save you time and money if everyone in your household can use the same product. For all these reasons, it is one of the best shampoos for eczema.
5. Vanicream Shampoo for Sensitive Skin
Gluten-free shampoo may sound unusual, but it has been proven to help those who suffer from eczema. That is why Vanicream has formulated a gluten-free shampoo.
People with mild or severe gluten intolerance have linked gluten to their skin problems. But how does gluten affect the skin? When gluten-intolerant people ingest gluten, they develop a skin rash because immune antibodies that attack gluten become trapped in the skin. So when this happens, the skin reacts, and a rash appears. As a result, skin conditions such as eczema have the potential to flare up.
While it is typically ingested gluten that causes this issue, it has been suggested that topical products containing gluten also pose a threat. Topical products are those which are directly applied to your body, like shampoos, conditioners, creams, and gels.
So if you have sensitive skin and a gluten intolerance, it might be wise to exclude gluten-containing products from your routine. If you have scalp eczema, you can do this by switching to Vanicream’s gluten-free shampoo.
In case you are wondering how gluten gets in shampoos, it is typically from ingredients such as oats, wheat, barley, and rye. It may seem odd that these ingredients end up in products like shampoos. However, they are sometimes added to strengthen damaged hair.
Therefore, if you are gluten-intolerant or suspect you might be, you could try Vanicream’s shampoo for sensitive skin. As well as being gluten-free, it is also sulfate-free and pH neutral. So it offers several key features which will help with skin sensitivity.
6. Botanist Botanical Shampoo
Botanist’s botanical shampoo is 100% vegan. Because of this, it deserves to be listed among the best shampoos for eczema. So if you have eczema but need an animal-friendly shampoo, this one will be right for you!
As the name suggests, Botanist source most of their ingredients from plants. Many natural plant ingredients are known to have healing, soothing, and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it makes sense to utilize what nature offers to help fight eczema.
The key natural ingredients in this shampoo are apricot, jasmine, olive leaf, white birch water, and silver lime. The overall effect of these plant ingredients is hydration and restoration. So they moisturize the scalp while helping the skin cells to recover and regenerate.
Again, this is another shampoo that is free from parabens and sulfates. But this one also excludes silicon and artificial colors. Therefore, it only has what you need, and there are no cheap, nasty chemicals that do nothing good for your hair or scalp whatsoever. You have probably realized that keeping it as natural as possible is best. That’s why we have sourced a range of shampoos that omit unnatural chemicals.
Lastly, this shampoo is also sustainable. So it is not just good for your hair but also for the planet. Nowadays, many people are making environmentally conscious decisions about what they buy, and we couldn’t agree more that this is the way to go. Switching to a more sustainable shampoo is pretty straightforward and does not cost much to do so.
7. Nutrafol Root Purifier Scalp Microbiome Shampoo
The microbiome is a scientific term that refers to a group of microorganisms that live together in a community. For example, your skin has a naturally occurring microbiome that consists of good bacteria, yeast, and fungi. Although microorganisms have been given a bad reputation, the good ones on your skin are worth protecting. That’s because they help look after the skin and facilitate healing processes.
You can support your microbiome by switching to a specialized shampoo. Nutrafol is a special shampoo that does this by providing key nutrients to the microbiome of your scalp. With the right nutrients, your microbiome can flourish and help restore the health of your skin. So when you look after your microbiome, it will look after you.
The main ingredient of Nutrafol’s shampoo that supports the microbiome is alpha-glucan oligosaccharide. This compound is a sugar, and it works as a prebiotic. Prebiotics work by feeding your microbiome with specific nutrients, like sugars, that help boost the function of microorganisms.
Therefore, with the right nutrition, your microbiome will work better. In turn, this will help your scalp to recover and combat skin problems like eczema. Because of this approach, we believe that this shampoo is another one that is worth trying. Since it offers a slightly different mechanism, you may find that this one helps if others have not worked so well for you in the past. As you probably already know, there is a range of different things that can trigger eczema. That’s why it’s good to try shampoos such as these because they will help you pinpoint the source of the issue.
8. GK Hair Global Keratin pH+ Pre-Treatment Clarifying Shampoo
GK Hair has formulated a pretreatment shampoo that restores the pH level of the scalp. pH is an indication of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Skin, including the scalp, should have a pH between 5.4 and 5.9. So this means your scalp is slightly acidic, and this is normal.
Although acidic conditions sound bad, it is good for the skin to have some acidity. That’s because it creates a suitable environment for your microbiome. It also protects your skin against infections, and it helps with the skin renewal process. However, if your skin becomes too acidic or alkaline, that isn’t good. From this, skin damage may occur or trigger skin conditions, such as eczema.
Therefore, maintaining the pH of your scalp is vital. Products such as GK Hair’s global keratin pH+ pre treatment clarifying shampoo can help restore your skin’s natural pH. Additionally, using a product like this one is a quick and straightforward method of doing so.
Another key feature of this product is that it’s a pretreatment shampoo. These types of shampoos absorb into your hair before you wash it. In other words, it prepares your hair for a good wash. This product will be a welcome addition if you already use shampoo twice with every wash. However, if you do not, it is still worth trying. You will get great results with just an extra five minutes added to your hair-washing routine. Overall, it’s a good shampoo to consider using, and we think it’s one of the best shampoos for eczema.
9. Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo
If you have a scalp problem but are unsure what it is, go for a shampoo like Neutrogena’s therapeutic shampoo. This one will help with a specific type of eczema called seborrheic dermatitis. However, other similar conditions it can help alleviate are dandruff and psoriasis.
Dandruff is a condition characterized by flaky skin. So it gives the appearance of grayish flakes around the roots. Dandruff is essentially chunks of dead skin cells that have lifted away from the scalp. The most common cause of this condition is irritation. However, it can also be a secondary effect of eczema.
On the other hand, psoriasis is also similar to eczema. It is characterized by a rash, itchiness, and scaly patches of skin. Psoriasis can occur anywhere on the body but can also affect the scalp. It might be more challenging to identify when it concerns the scalp, hence why it is easily mistaken for eczema. Therefore, if you are still determining what type of scalp problem you have, opting for a shampoo that covers more than one issue is the way to go.
In this shampoo, the key ingredient, salicylic acid, is a little different from the others we have already mentioned. It is a pharmaceutical compound found in aspirin, an over-the-counter pain reliever. Although it is typically used for pain, it also has anti-inflammatory properties and is an excellent exfoliant for removing dead skin.
Overall, many features are packed into this shampoo, and it is highly recommended. Again, if you are unsure what type of scalp condition you have, then this shampoo is perfect for you.
10. DHS Zinc Shampoo
DHS is another shampoo that can help with eczema and dandruff. However, this shampoo uses zinc, a naturally occurring mineral, to help alleviate your symptoms.
No doubt you have heard of zinc before. Most people are familiar with zinc being a shiny gray metal. While zinc is typically a mineral that we would ingest at low or safe concentrations, it also offers several benefits to the hair when incorporated into shampoos.
So what does zinc do for your hair? Its main effect is protecting your hair and scalp against unwanted microbes. You may recall us mentioning the importance of maintaining your microbiome a while back. Although it’s good to protect the microbes within your microbiome, you also want to fend off unwanted ones. That’s because unwanted ones can disrupt the balance of healthy microbes on your skin.
So overall, zinc is a potent antimicrobial ingredient. When it eliminates unwanted microbes, the good ones for your skin can return and flourish again because they won’t have any competition. These bad microbes can also cause skin irritation, making your scalp itchy and flaky. So for several reasons, it is good to get rid of them.
Lastly, zinc has another added benefit: it can help your hair and skin grow. Therefore, this would be especially useful when your scalp needs to recover from skin damage caused by eczema. Overall, zinc has many key benefits, and incorporating it into a shampoo just makes sense. That’s why we think the DHS zinc shampoo is one of the best shampoos for eczema.
11. Dove Hair Therapy Shampoo for Dry Scalp
When eczema is severe, it can make your scalp feel very dry. When it gets to this stage, you need a shampoo that can provide some serious moisture to your scalp. Otherwise, your scalp will only worsen if you ignore this problem. That’s because dryness can lead to flaking and irritation, causing more skin to lift away. Sounds painful, right?
To restore moisture to your scalp, we recommend using Doves’ hair therapy shampoo for a dry scalp. This shampoo is enriched with ingredients such as vitamin B3, which is crucial for restoring moisture to your skin.
Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is a plant compound in many healthy vegetables. However, this vitamin helps the skin build new proteins for growth and repair. While this vitamin is usually obtained through diet, applying it directly to your scalp through a shampoo could boost its effects. That’s because you are applying it to where it is most needed.
Another significant aspect of this shampoo is that it is sulfate free. You may recall that sulfates can dry out your scalp, making it more prone to skin irritation and flaking. Dove realizes that the effects of vitamin B3 would only be undone if sulfates were still added to the shampoo you are using. That’s why this shampoo is sulfate free. Unfortunately, many shampoos still contain sulfate, even when the shampoo is intended to fight dryness.
12. L’Oreal Paris EverPure Scalp Care + Detox Shampoo
The last shampoo we would like to share with you is L’Oreal’s scalp care and detox shampoo. Detoxes have been quite popular lately, and no doubt you have heard about them on the internet. While some have a reputation for being pointless, you can’t go wrong when a trusted brand like L’Oreal offers a detox product.
A detox aims to remove unwanted toxins. In terms of shampoo, a detox typically removes impurities or toxins which have become trapped in the skin. Removing these toxins can improve the health of the skin by reducing irritation.
So if your scalp needs a major intervention, try a detoxifying shampoo. This shampoo would be a great one to start with before switching to another for scalp maintenance.
We hope that this list of shampoos for eczema has provided you with some helpful insight on how to fight the problem. If you have struggled with scalp eczema for some time, we understand how frustrating it is to get it sorted. But thankfully, using a specialized shampoo is an easy thing to do, especially when it is an everyday product that you already use.